• Mazarin

    A Tall-Tale Storyline

    rgirl29, Release Date: 10/9/2001

    Prior to founding Mazarin, Quentin Stoltzfus was known mostly as the drummer for Philadelphia drone-improv trio The Azusa Plane.

    He was not, by and large, known for opening his mouth. But little did anyone know that he'd been writing and recording pop songs for several years, reworking the tracks to make the sounds on tape match the sounds in his head.  Before Stoltzfus had ever played one of his creations for his friends, he would erase songs rather than let exist an imperfect interpretation of the perfect pop in his imagination. The frustration, at times, was discouraging. Luckily for lovers of lush, noisy pop, Stoltzfus met up with Brian McTear, a Philadelphia multi-instrumentalist/producer working out of his own studio. McTear (who's produced albums by The Burning Brides, Lefty's Deceiver and Matt Pond PA among others and plays in his own project The Bitter Weeks) helped sculpt the songs. With the help of drummer Sean Byrne (Lenola), they amped up Stoltzfus' embryonic pop songs into a textured melée of cacophonous noise and madly addictive hooks.

    The end result was the album Watch It Happen, released on Rocket Girl in March 2000. The debut  single, "Wheats," a triumphant song about a devastating breakup, , preceded the album at the end of 1999. It was pounced on by the New Musical Express who picked it as single of the week for December 11, 1999. Looking back, the album's title was unintentionally clairvoyant.

    A Tall-Tale Storyline, the band's much anticipated sophomore outing, picks up where Watch It Happen left off: full of experimental sound tapestries floating atop, beneath and around angular songs that owe as much to psychedelic rock and folk as they do to country and western. Going into Miner Street studio with a clearer sense of identity, Stoltzfus set out to craft a more collaborative effort, involving McTear and Byrne in the song-writing process from the jump. The stunning album-opener, "Go Home," is a brave reintroduction to the band's warped sense of pop. Written on tone generators and incorporating found sounds from a trip to Thailand, the sprawling 8-minute track fuses looped beats, electronic squiggles and acoustic guitar strumminess over which Stoltzfus layers echoing falsetto longings. On the opposite end of the sonic spectrum (and the track list) is "Limits of Language," a pure-hearted, high-lonesome country lament about the impossibility of true communication.  Between these stylistic bookends you'll find the lush folk-pop of "Suicide Will Make You Happy," two homages to late guitar master John Fahey, the driving indie romp "My Favorite Green Hill" and the lazy Saturday fantasy "What Sees the Sky?" - Eleven songs in all where sound and songcraft collide in a beautiful mess.

    Watch It Happen was just the acorn of the band's potential; the follow-up is proof that this tall tale has only just started.


    • Go Home
    • Suicide Will Make You Happy
    • What Sees The Sky?
    • 2.22.1
    • A Tall-Tale Storyline
    • To Keep Things Moving
    • RJF Variation 1
    • My Favourite Green Hill
    • Bend
    • Flying Arms For Driving
    • Limits Of Language

All Rocket Girl Releases

  • Mazarin
    Suicide Will Make You Happy
  • Mazarin
    A Tall-Tale Storyline
  • Mazarin
    Chasing The Girl
  • Mazarin
    Watch It Happen
  • Mazarin

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